Joss Ackland has had a distinguished acting career on stage, film and in television. Stage successes include Falstaff in Henry IV, both Captain Hook and Mr Darling in Peter Pan, Jorrocks in Jorrocks, Peron in Evita and Frederick in A Little Night Music. His films include White Mischief, The Sicillian and Lethal Weapon. His hundreds of television appearances include most famously CS Lewis in Shadowlands and Alan Holly in First And Last, both of which won Emmy and BAFTA awards. He has been a subject of This Is Your Life and Desert Island Discs.
Georgie Adams was born in Tunbridge Wells, and grew up in Kent and Sussex. She was an editor for many years in the UK and Australia, was co-director of a small publishing company in London, before becoming a successful writer of children's books. She has written over 70 books, mostly for young children. Georgie is married to artist and printmaker, Tom Adams, has two daughters and three stepchildren, and lives in a rural part of North Cornwall, overlooking the Kensey Valley. Her website is http://www.georgieadams.com/
Adjoa Andoh has worked extensively in both television and theatre with parts in TV projects such as 'Dr. Who' and Philip Pullman`s `The Shadow of the North`. She also had a role in 'His Dark Materials' at the National Theatre. Adjoa has read many audiobooks including numerous titles by Alexander McCall Smith's.
Karen Armstrong spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, an experience she recollected in her two volumes of best-selling autobiography, Through the Narrow Gate and Beginning the World. She is the author of the world-wide best-seller, A History of God (which has now appeared in more than thirty languages), the acclaimed History of Jerusalem and, most recently, The Battle for God. She is a teacher at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and, in 1999, she received the Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award.
Peter Bailey has been illustrating books for more than 35 years and has worked with many of today's best known authors, including Philip Pullman, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo and Joan Aiken. He lives near Liverpool with his wife, Sian, who is also an illustrator.
Clare Balding is one of the BBC's leading sports presenters. She won the coveted Royal Television Society's Sports Presenter of the year Award in 2003. She has been working for the BBC in radio and television for over 15 years across a range of sports, covering three Olympic Games, two Paralympics, two Winter Olympics and a Commonwealth Games. Clare is the face of the BBC's coverage of horseracing, equestrian sports and rugby league. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Evening Standard and the Racing Post and is currently involved in a web magazine called Eclipse.Clare Balding, a Cambridge graduate, was elected President of the Union in 1992. She was a good all-rounder in sport, and was champion lady rider in 1990 and leading amateur flat jockey in 1989 and 1990. Clare was honoured with the Horse Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Racing Journalist of the Year Award in 2003 and in 2004 she won both the HWPA Sir Peter O'Sullevan Broadcaster of the Year award and the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year award. In 2009, she was praised for "perfect presentation" by the judges of the Broadcast Awards who named the Grand National 2008 as their sports programme of the year.
Helen Banes is a fibre artist and jewellery designer. Born in Chicago in 1920, she has studied at the University of Maryland and Parsons School of Design. She is a founding member of Fiberworks Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, and the founding president of the Bead Society of Greater Washington. A desire to incorporate beads and other perforated objects into her woven pieces led to her most important artistic innovation: the method of stringing beads on a double warp, using a shaped loom on a light-weight portable board. She has given numerous lectures and workshops throughout the US and Canada, and her necklaces have been exhibited in galleries, including the Smithsonian Institute.
Previous titles include: Great Paper Quilling, Wonderful Wire Works, Glass Painting In An Afternoon, Decorating Your Garden, Fantastic Furniture
Martyn Beardsley has lived in Nottingham all his life. A civil servant for many years, he is now concentrating on his writing career. As well as being a children's author, one of his great passions is history. In 2002 he published a biography of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer. A committed Buddhist, he is interested in reading, sport, keep-fit and yoga. Martyn Beardsley is married with one daughter and a mad dog.
Antony Beevor served as a regular officer in the 11th Hussars in Germany. He is the author of Crete - The Battle and the Resistance, which won a Runciman Prize, Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife Artemis Cooper), Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, Berlin - The Downfall, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award, and The Mystery of Olga Chekhova. Stalingrad and Berlin have been translated into twenty-five languages and sold more than two and a quarter million copies between them. His latest work, A Writer at War - Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945, is an edition, with his Russian researcher, Dr Luba Vinogradova, of Grossman's wartime notebooks. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France, Antony Beevor has also been the chairman of the Society of Authors and is a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He lives in London and Kent and has a daughter and a son.Go to www.antonybeevor.com for more information. Antony Beevor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/antonybeevor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Antony-Beevor
Nicholas Best was educated in Kenya and at Trinity College, Dublin. He was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, which gave him the material for his satirical novel WERE YOU AT WATERLOO? He left the Army to be a financial journalist, but soon became a full-time writer. He was fiction critic for the FINANCIAL TIMES for ten years and has written history books, travel books and many radio scripts. His work has been translated into many languages.http://www.nicholasbest.co.uk/
Hugh Bicheno has had careers as an academic, an intelligence officer and a freelance kidnap and ransom negotiator in South America. He now devotes himself to writing about men at war. His previous books include the bestselling Rebels and Redcoats, written in conjunction with Richard Holmes.
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com
David Bird is recognised as the world's leading humorous bridge writer. He has written over 130 bridge books, and in the last ten years he has won six 'Book of the Year' awards from the American Bridge Teachers Association - and in 2016 won the International Bridge Press Association Book of the Year Award for The Abbot, the Parrot and the Bermuda Bowl. David contributes regularly to Bridge Magazine, English Bridge, Bridge World, the American Contract Bridge League bulletin and other magazines around the world, as well as Vu-Bridge on the internet. He is also a voice commentator for Bridge Base Online. He lives in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, England.
Quentin Blake was born in 1932. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before studying English at Downing College, Cambridge. After National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl, as well as creating much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. Described by The Guardian, as 'a national institution', in 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature.
Lawrence Block was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2004. He is also a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He is the author of many novels and short stories and has won numerous awards for his mystery writing. He lives and works in New York City.
Richard Brassey is the author and illustrator of a host of colourful and original non-fiction books for children, among them the bestselling Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and The Story of Scotland, which won the TES/Saltire Society Award. He lives in Essex. Visit his website at http://www.richardbrassey.com.
George Bredehorn is a retired teacher who lives in Wantagh, New York and is a member of Mensa. His puzzles appear regularly in publications such as The New York Times and Games.
John Brindley lives with his partner in the southeast of England. He has two children, both of whom have been instrumental in the development of his early stories for young people. John is a keen music fan and enjoys playing squash and socialising in London.
Sally Brock is an internationally known player and writer. Sally is also the current bridge correspondent for the Sunday Times.